Young Pros Weigh In: How to Beat the Home Office Blues
By Alison Matthews. Printed in Tahoe Daily Tribune, June 30, 2105
The flexibility of working from home can play a major role in achieving work-life balance. It is common at Lake Tahoe to run into people who agree that setting one’s own hours, having no commute time and improving productivity are just a few of the ways working from home can positively benefit your life. To someone that is not in this position, it seems like a dream, but it’s not always what one would expect. There are challenges. It takes time to get used to this type of work environment. After having worked in an office, making the jump to freelance graphic design was a major change.
Here are some ways to beat the home office blues:
ROUTINE IS EVERYTHING
Even though one’s “commute” might consist of walking down the stairs into an office, it is important to create a daily schedule and stick to it. Hitting “snooze” for a few more minutes or rolling down the stairs in your PJs can be tempting. However, waking up at the same time everyday and getting dressed can help a person’s mood and productivity. It can be tempting to do household chores when working from home. Instead of interrupting a workday, carve out time during the day to complete these tasks. Next, set up a designated work space where the door can be closed. This will help concentration and set a boundary for the “work life.”
At one time that water cooler chat might have been an annoyance, but when no one is around it’s easy to get nostalgic for co-worker camaraderie. Not interacting with people on a daily basis can be difficult. Finding a group of people to work with can make a major difference. Create a “co-working group” by scheduling a couple days a week where everyone can work together. Pick the same place or mix it up and rotate between local businesses. There are a variety of free spaces to work at like coffee shops or the library. Designated co-working spaces such as the Tahoe Mill Collective and Tahoe Mountain Lab offer rentable desk space.
Overcome stress and the effects of sitting all day by creating a daily workout routine. Take advantage of a flexible schedule and discover what time of day is best. Next, determine what type of exercise to do. Let the beautiful Tahoe scenery be your motivation. Get outside and explore one of the many recreational opportunities.
Not seeing co-workers on a regular basis can get lonely. Whether it be small talk or creative brainstorming, not interacting professionally can take a toll on social life. Networking groups are a great way to meet other professionals in the area. It is also a reason to get out of the house. Networking groups can be valuable for finding clients, finding a new job or simply meeting new friends. Try out networking at Tahoe with the Tahoe Regional Young Professional’s, chambers of commerce, Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network or Tahoe Silicon Mountain.
Alison Matthews is a graphic designer who specializes in printed marketing collateral, wedding stationery and brand identity. She is an active member of the North Shore committee for the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. Email her at email@example.com.